Tomorrow is the Academy Awards.
I’ll be there.
I got my tux from the cleaners today. I have my gold dragon pattern bowtie ready to go. I have my patent leather shinyshoes ready and waiting. I am willing to shave.
I suppose “Brokeback Mountain” will win what with because it has to do with a social issues of the modern today.
Also it is the only one of the Best Picture nominees that I have actually seen – which is pathetic for a guy who claims to love movies so much.
But, yes, I’ll be there smiling like an idiot, doing my SPECIAL JOB THAT I CAN’T REVEAL.
Look for me.
I’ll be the one smiling like an idiot.
Usually, when gifts are bestowed upon me, or when I am fortunate enough to own some material item of worth, I immediately lose it or break it.
But there’s one material object that has stood by me – and I by it – for many years, as reliable and unflagging as an abusive spouse. That would be my Apple Quadra 800 computer, purchased in 1993.
I have written many great works of genius on this computer, and have looked at many unsavory pictures on the internet. The computer hasn’t worked well for a few years. And the last time it was able to run the most up-to-date system software was some time in 1998, I think. Before the great 68K/Power PC switchover.
Over the years, the computer inhaled tremendous amounts of second-hand smoke, at all hours of the day and night, and still ran without complaint. It is the Ford LTD station wagon of computers. Indestructible – and the battle vehicle of choice for soldiers from the future who have returned to the present to fight deadly unstoppable androids (see “The Terminator” (1984) and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) for examples which so feature station wagons)(though not Apple Quadra computers).
But the Quadra has sat dark and brooding under various desks, for several years – like a very old cat – looking enviously at the computers that actually work.
We had been talking about it for a while. But I decided…today was the day…
I took the Quadra out to the woods down near the crick…tied its leash to a tree…and, fighting back tears, raised my shotgun…while the Quadra looked back with innocent eyes…
The new New Beverly Cinema schedule – for Jan. & Feb. – is on my desk. And I am happy.
I’m always happy to see the new New Beverly schedule. Creaky chairs and cockroaches aside, it is still the best art theater in Los Angeles. No panel discussions with Naomi Watts at the New Beverly. Leave that nonsense to the Cinematheque. No $20 per person (ticket + popcorn) to see “La Cercle Rouge”. Leave that bullshit to the Nuart.
When I look at the New Beverly schedule – this month on one side, next month on the other – always on 11×17 paper folded in half (this month lavender 11×17 paper) – I project ahead like a Santa-trusting 5-year-old and imagine all the wonderful nights ahead, all the double-features in my future, breathing in all those movies I’ve been meaning to see for years but just haven’t gotten around to.
Then reality hits.
Then I remember the last time I looked at the New Beverly schedule. I remember the excitement I felt then. I remember my grandiose plan to finally see “The Conformist”. And I remember how it never happened. How it was all a dream. Only a dream.
In that same spirit I look over the wonderful schedule now. Grim, sad, heavy, I think back to the last time I walked through the doors of the New Bev. Two years ago was it? More? It was for the two “Kill Bills”, I think.
I thought I’d share some snapshots of the new schedule – movies that I wish to see at the New Beverly, am excited to see at the New Beverly, but will, let’s face it, never see at the New Beverly.
I encourage you to go to the New Beverly this month. See some of the movies pictured here, if you can. And tell them I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.
And tell them I can’t wait for the next schedule to come out.
They smashed our pumpkin! The spiteful monsters smashed our pumpkin!
We hadn’t even carved it yet.
My wife and I woke to prepare our annual Ye H’allowe’en’ Even-Tide’s Yard Sale, and as we stepped onto the porch we saw…we saw…
…Oh, the horror of it! The seeds! The rind! Those stringy bits! Oh, shattered nature! Oh, deed never to be undone! Oh, wretched violation of home and hearth! Oh, squash-ed squash! Oh! Oh!
Yeah, someone smashed our pumpkin over the weekend. And, yes, I was too lazy to carve a jack-o-lantern. I wonder, if I had carved one, would the pumpkin still be with us? You know, like how if you’re a superior graffiti artist, taggers will pass over you out of professional respec’. Perhaps the Pumpkin Smashers might have paused, recognizing my jack-o-lantern skills, and said: “His carving is masterful. Truly he has been guided by Apollo himself. Let us move on lest we risk the great god’s wrath.” Something along those lines.
But here is picture of last year’s jack-o-lantern:
Yesterday, in response to subway and bus bombings in London, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff raised the national threat level to orange, or “high risk of terrorist attacks” with regard to the mass transit sector, specifically buses and trains.
If someone were to say to me, “Today there is a high risk at your workplace of being bitten by asps,” I would call in sick (assuming the someone were a credible source–a herpetologist, or zoo official hunting down a missing asp family), or I might call the police and say “There is a crazy person frightening me with threats of asps. Please come and arrest him at once.” In the event of confirmed high asp risk, I would want the building shut down and searched carefully room by room and I would not expect to have to go back to work until the possibity of asps had been ruled out, or until every errant asp had been accounted for.
I use Los Angeles public transport daily. Yesterday, our “second” in the Duel With Terror had been attacked. I was naturally curious, eager even, to see what an Orange Alert on public transport looked like. I realize that there were a few Orange Alerts thrown around in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq, but those weren’t real Orange Alerts. Those were more for dramatic effect–or maybe the result of pantswetting overeagerness at the Dept. of Homeland Security (I mean, what an irresistible temptation it must be to know you can alter the adrenaline levels of millions of people from the comfort of your desk; there’s no way I could resist it). So I took notes on the way home–on my bus ride east on Wilshire Blvd. and then subway trip from Wilshire & Western to Vermont & Sunset.
Here is what a Code Orange looks like on L.A. public transportation:
Carrying a heavy shoulder bag filled with mysteriously bulky items, I board a “Rapid” bus at Wilshire Blvd. & La Cienega Ave. Subdued atmosphere on bus. More seats available than usual. I keep eyes peeled for any signs of Orange Alert–police activity, anything unusual.
Los Angeles is a great big ol’ giant flat screen tv of a city, and policing it is like sending a shoebox full of plastic army men to monitor a football field. However, the public transport system is still–famously–in a “growth period”, with nothing like the thousands of miles of subway track and bus route in other megalopolises. My trip home yesterday did not feel orange–it felt blue.
The lowest possible level of the Dept. of Homeland Security’s 5-color threat scale is Code Green which indicates a “low risk of terrorist attacks”. There is no color designation to indicate “no risk of terrorist attacks”. Prominent sources repeatedly tell me that we will win the War On Terror. When we do, how will I know it?
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